surprise! february 19th.

i was surprised today. several times.

ever's been surprising me, repeatedly, since last night. and not in a good way.

luckily, i wasn't foolish enough to think that this was over, really.

he texted me at 8 asking me to call him. i emailed him later, telling him to email me details. he did. another surprise. though, really, it shouldn't have been.

he was telling me that he found a place. sigh of relief there. that he spent all the money on that, mostly. that he has $900 in outstanding bills. that he is afraid the utilities will be shut off. that he wanted to know if i would be willing to pay them from his second half of the settlement.

i emailed him back and said to list out the account info and amounts, including late fees. and to tell me what is going on with his roommates. if they are staying or going.

then he called me again today, at 2, asking me to call him. he said that he emailed me the info i'd asked for, but to please call him.

i read the email from the car outside the salon and was surprised again. because when he listed them out, without having the bills in front of him, they come to more like $1400.

he said that he hasn't told one of the guys that he's moving out, because the guy hasn't been around. and that he didn't collect utilities from the other guy, because he wasn't there and using them.

he said that he doesn't have money for the moving truck, and he knows that he's asking a lot, and that it wasn't in the agreement, but could i give him some of the money now to help him move out?

he said that he has been working (he told me where, finally), but that he won't get paid for three weeks. and that he is moving all of his stuff into storage, which he needs to pay for, for a month until his new place opens up, and subletting a place for the month between.

i do wish i was heartless. because i was willing to pay the $900 to avoid problems when i have to switch over. i don't want to pay connect fees or run into any problems. but asking for $1400 and a little more, out of $3500 is crazy. not to mention, it gives me no leverage if he doesn't get everything out by the end of the month.

and if i give in on this, despite my better judgment, will he do what i think he might, and ask me to let him keep equipment in the house? because if it goes into storage, he won't be able to work for a month. he didn't say any of that - it's what i deduced on my own.

i know these are not my problems. yet, lately he has been making his problems mine. if the utilities get shut off, he'll have some explaining to do to the roommates, especially if he collected utilities and didn't pay them. is he just trying to save face? did he really not collect them because people weren't home? i don't know which is more unbelievable. the fact that he spent $2200 in eight days is alarming. despite understanding that i dropped $2100 in fewer to move into this place.

i called him at 330 and he didn't answer. he was asleep, which is what he said when he called me. again. while i was at lunch.

i didn't call or email after that.

it's actually okay. this will make things a little less crazy.

i guess it's time to talk to my parents. it's their money. see what they think. i emailed lawyer and didn't hear back, and he was copied on all the emails.

i'm trying not to think about it, but i'm not succeeding.

what i am succeeding at is thinking about other boys.

my feet are ready to be tangled with someone else's, it's official. i went today, with pam and kim, to get a pedicure. and it was so worth it! my feet feel pretty awesome. and they look really cute, too. i also got my eyebrows waxed.

we had so much fun. we were there from 1230 until 330. it was crazy. the girls were getting their old nails stripped off and redone while i got my pedicure. the place was busy enough that i sat soaking in the massage chair for almost an hour before the girl touched my feet. which might have annoyed some people, but i felt lucky. i jokingly told them i'd found my new boyfriend (the massage chair). and we were scattered in different sections, but close enough to talk to each other.

they're so funny. and so fun. they were cracking up all the women in the place, with their comments and conversation. which made me giggle even more. they bring sunshine everywhere they are. and it does take a little getting used to, pam's sense of humor. i think some people are put off by it until they realize that it's her way of joking around. and then they appreciate it.

i was done when they were about halfway done, so i stood between them while they got their nails painted. i got my eyebrows done then, which wasn't the best way to plan the trip. i should have done it first, so i didn't leave with a blotchy red face, but i didn't. and i managed to convince them both to get theirs done. neither had ever been waxed before. and despite the fact that pam has birthed a child, she was terrified. and they watched as about five women got theirs done while their nails were being done. and made wide-eyed faces. kim kept saying 'i'm so scared' over and over.

and i warned them that, once they saw what they looked like after, they'd be addicted. and would have it done with their nails from here on out.

and i was right. pam's were incredible. she kept looking in the mirror and walking away and walking back, saying 'oh my god' every time. she couldn't get over it. and kim's looked awesome, too. she was trying not to cry. she was sure that her eyes were watering while the woman worked. and the woman kept telling her, 'pain is beauty' and 'no pain, no gain' every time she tore the muslin away.

so i got all fancied up. and felt better about myself. we had a blast. then we went to lunch. i'd been telling them about my favorite indian restaurant, and i finally got them to go with me.

but that led to lunch buffet indigestion surprise.

it was a running joke when ever and i would go there. we'd always take the tums in the car. it was part of the trip. and i can easily put away three full plates when i go there. and leave with the buffet belly. and be miserably stuffed, and need a nap. and usually skip dinner that night, from still being so full.

so that is normal. and what i expect. but yesterday, i took maybe three bites, and felt like someone was stabbing me in the gut.

i guess it had been so long since i had gone that i couldn't handle it? that, or maybe the fact that i'd only had coffee to drink and nothing to eat to that point in the day, at 330, and that i was throwing acidic spiciness on top of more acid? i don't know.

but i was in so much pain that i had to eat very slowly, and didn't even manage to get as stuffed as i normally do. it's a pain that is so satisfying. a pain that i look forward to. and i let myself down yesterday. it was pretty sad. i only ate a plate and a half.

then i drove the girls home, blasting my new dance mix that i made for our outing. and that was awesome. they were surprised at a couple songs, and happy about a couple songs. we needed more driving time, because after the buffet, we all just wanted to get home as quickly as possible.

it was so much fun, though.

then i came home and sprawled out in front of dating site. i realized, yet again, that this is what i do. time i used to spend on facebook has been traded for dating site. and before that, it was farming-game time wasted on fb. and before that, i can't remember. but this is what i do. latch onto something. and kill hours perusing.

i updated my profile today. because so many of the boys' i look at are so funny. and i feel like mine was so boring. i like this. i don't like this. blah blah blah. all in neat little sentences and lists. the ones i like the most crack jokes in their writing and get giggles out of me.

i didn't accomplish that. not even close. but i did fix a little. i took off some stuff that sounded bitchy/boring. i have a feeling it will be a constant process.

i have decided to start 'winking' at boys the end of next week. i needed a little time to get acclimated, to learn how stuff works, i guess. and i didn't want to pop up as a new user and then start hitting on everyone.

so i figure i'll be ready by next week. and after that, if nothing happens, i won't be afraid to message boys. well, i will. but i'll do it anyway. i think the best thing to do will be to see if any shows are coming up that we both would want to go to and say something.

there were no surprises today, as far as dating site was concerned. i wish that there had been. just one. i'm not greedy.

but i'd like to be surprised further.

i don't know if you know this, reader, but you can comment on a post anonymously. if a post stuck out to you, please let me know.

i've been wanting to compile my best posts, but don't know which are the 'best'. i know how i felt when i was writing them, the more traumatic times are the ones that i feel spawned better posts, but that might not be what you take away from reading. it makes it hard to separate myself from them, and if you think of one specifically, i'd love to know, if you would be so kind.

additionally, if you think i'm an asshole or a saint, you can tell me that, too. if any of you are of the male persuasion, i'm really interested to know that. i think that, because the majority of my posts feel like a big ass bitchfest, i assume that only women would read it and tolerate it. that only women would be interested or be able to relate to my writing. so if that is not the case, i would really love to know. i feel like i've messaged someone i follow anonymously on blogger before, to tell them what their blog meant to me. you can feel free to do that as well.

i look to a lot people for advice, because in many ways i'm in uncharted waters here. don't be afraid to tell me. i can take it, i promise...

* * * UPDATE * * *

ever just called me. and because i'm me, i answered.

hilarity ensues.

where to even start?

some things that will help to understand the conversation: ever acts like a grandpa most of the time, ever is disorganized, ever sucks at math, ever is irresponsible, ever makes me wonder if he is playing dumb or is actually that dumb, ever has forgotten how to plan ahead/think of the big picture since i left.

i will start by saying that the conversation lasted for an hour. on a saturday night, between 9 and 10 pm. i am perfectly aware that he was home alone, sad, sick, and probably trying to figure out if i was home. he's the biggest baby when he is sick, and because i was his mother, i used to cater to his whining, and bring him medicine and whatever. maybe this has been the hardest thing for him to get over since i left - how awful it is to be sick and alone. i think i've been sick three times since i left. and they all sucked. they made me want my mom. but i think that, for the same reason, they make him want me to talk to him and somehow make him feel better?

that being said, i guess i answered because i wanted him to tell me specifics about the bills, and what i hoped to gain from the conversation was a specific list of what had to be paid before thursday, when he moves out. and to try to get the figure well below the $1400 he was asking for.

so i answered his call and asked what he was calling about. he said he wanted to go over the bills and give me the exact figures for the money he needed.

so he said that the two he'd sent me were right. one was almost $600. one that he'd said was about $500 ended up being almost $800. and then he found a few more bills (through this long drawn out process of digging through mail and telling me to hang on while he tried to find what he was looking for).

now, if it was me, i would have organized myself before a phone call like this. especially since i'd be asking a huge favor. i would have put it all together and taken about ten minutes of his time out of consideration for him, the fact that he was willing to talk to me on the phone at all.

but that is not how he approached the situation.

after 30 or so more minutes, i had a list of bills that totaled $1700. and then, he started adding in moving costs, saying he had $6 to his name. he needed to secure the truck, pay for the storage unit, and borrow money for gas and for the dudes, to pay them a small chunk to move him out and into storage. so that nothing was left to chance on moving day. because he doesn't have a back up plan.

all told, the amounts he gave me were over $2300. i know this because he said, 'can you add that up for me?'

when i told him the total, i heard in his voice the realization that two thirds of his second payment were spent just to get out of the house and start over. it was sad. he was sad. but he knows that this is what has to happen. i explained to him for a while that he will have bills streaming in for a few weeks after he is out for the month of february, so this is not the end of it. it took some clarifying, but i think he eventually got it.

he kept trying to present stuff to me as if it was helping me out. and i had to keep reminding him that none of this is for me at all. that he let himself get so far behind that he didn't have any other choice. he said more than once that he was doing his best in the little amount of time he was given. that it's a short month, and he was only given three weeks to make everything happen. and i told him that it was his own fault. that he had months to tell me that he was in trouble, specifically when i started noticing that he was struggling and asking him about it in november. that, if he had told me then, he could have had months to prepare for this. he could have avoided adding all this expense.

he told the story about how it was that i saw him in court looking how he did, without saying that specifically. he had fallen up the stairs and tumbled down almost the whole flight in the house, because he was shoveling snow and had left his ipod on the third floor. he came back in to get it and fell. and had to go to the e.r. because he couldn't see straight and had broken two fingers. that was why he had the glasses. they made him wear glasses for two weeks after until his vision issue cleared up. he must have been seriously fucked up. retardedly stoned.

what's ironic about that is that, at the mediation, and in conversation when i had first left, i told him that leases were important in case something happened to the roommates, like falling down the stairs. that we needed to protect ourselves, that i wanted to be protected even if he didn't, because they could sue us. and he basically laughed at me and said nothing was going to happen. that no one was going to fall down the stairs. and then he fell down the stairs. pretty ironic. it's too bad ever is learning every single lesson in his life the hard way lately. sucks to be him.

i started asking if there was something else to discuss about halfway through because i wanted to be off the phone. he was just dragging his feet and i was running out of patience. and i kept asking, 'is there anything else?' and he would say, 'ummm...yeah.'

i started to feel like he was just wasting my time intentionally. trying to keep me on the phone. repeating himself. telling me how stressed he was and how having the money ahead of time would help him feel better.

i said more than once that this was not my problem. these were not my problems. that this was not my fault. and that it is not my place to fix these things for him.

i was starting to get short with him and he said, 'are you always this mean?'

i was kinda floored. i said, 'you want mean? mean is saying fuck you, you get paid when you move out.'

and he said that i was right and the he was sorry. damn straight, douchebag. something about biting the hand that feeds you. what an idiot.

at another point in the conversation, he was questioning why i wasn't more willing to cough up all the money upfront. that he was trying to start me out at zero, and what was the problem?

so i told him that it was his responsibility to start me out at zero. that's not a favor. and that the big deal is two pronged. not only is he asking me to hand over the only leverage i have over him, but also that we have a legal contract. and that if i break it, it's just as illegal as if he breaks it.

and he made some dig about our marriage being a legal contract, and that i didn't have a problem breaking that. and i corrected him and said, 'it WAS a legal contract. it is no longer binding, because it is no longer a valid legal contract. do you have something else to talk about?'

he had nothing to say about that. but went on to some other bill.

i was pretty proud of myself for that, actually. i'm getting better at witty comebacks and thinking on my toes, perhaps?

the conversation was an hour of hilarity. when i got off the phone with him and started chatting with nina about it, i was cracking up.

he had hung up to call and see what time the storage place was closing (today, sunday). i told him not to call me back. and he asked why. and i repeated, 'because i don't want to talk to you. i'm done.'

and he said, 'i'm going to call you back. i just want to tell you what time they close.'

i was on chat with her, and trying to get off the phone with him. asking where i put my gun. and told her i said/he said. and kept going on with things i said. and she thought they were directed at her.

'look, i have plans. my phone is blowing up. i don't want to be on here with you all night. i have shit to do!'

and she said something about not meaning to pry, that she was just trying to understand. and i was laughing and feeling bad all at the same time.

i said, 'oh my god. no, i was saying that to him! i would NEVER talk to you like that!'

it was really funny, and talking on the phone was much better, even though we were trying to facetime, but were both working our computers. my phone fell on its side, she asked if i was trying to make her throw up. she was leaned up against a bag of puffcorn. it was pretty funny.

he called back saying the place closed at noon.

what that meant was this: i have to wake up on my off day to go to the atm to pull out a cash advance for him to have it to him by 11 so he can get over there in time.

i said, 'excuse me? do you realize what you're asking me to do? absolutely not! those are too many fucking hoops. i am not doing that.'

and he actually said, 'you could just go tonight so you don't have to do it in the morning.'

'are you serious right now?'

he was. i told him he was insane.

got off the phone telling me what time he needed to go to the other place. he texted me and i didn't check it. until this morning. then this morning i took him $400. told him to hang onto some of it. made him sign the deposit ticket. hopefully he is for real.

and later, when kit came over for a cigarette and i told her the whole story, i laughed more. but when i sat down to finish writing this out, from all that laughing, i felt completely defeated and sad. and i couldn't make myself write it out, explaining the whole story for a third time last night. so i woke up a little early this morning to do that.

and wrote in the car, then more at the cafe where i met lauren while i waited for her to arrive. and now again at home.

i'm leaving funny bits out. but the kicker was the very last 'is there anything else?'

because his response was, 'yeah... can i have some money for food?'

this, dear readers, is why i fucking left his dumb ass.

really? all of your hundreds of friends, all of the people you kept in the divorce, and you're asking ME for money? for FOOD??? what. the. fuck.

it begs the question, 'is this real life? is this forever?'

ever, it seems, will always look to me for help. and after already having put my foot down in a huge way once, i'm somehow surprised that he is still asking for help.

the thing is, after friday, he won't have any more help to get from me. what i'm mad about is that i keep forgetting to ask him where his new place is. because i'm horrified that it is most likely in the same neighborhood. that i will run into him walking the puppy from time to time. that he'd someday (i hope) see me walking into the house with some hot boy that i'm going to take upstairs and have my way with, repeatedly.

i don't want to see him. and though his neediness and the repeated phone calls were really annoying, i was trying to explain to kit that someday, i can see myself being available to talk to him on the phone, as a friend. i know it will take a long time of being completely independent of me, of being officially divorced from me, of getting over the fact that i abandoned him and that i don't love him any more. but it felt good to laugh, especially at his expense (he laughed, too), and shake my head at him.

because for so long since i left, i have spent so much time being so angry at him and hating him. and i don't quite understand how it is that surviving that conversation without hating him even happened. but above all, i want him to get his shit together. and i can't understand how his present situation didn't prompt it.

how he could get so far gone, do nothing to change it, ask me to bail him out, and keep plugging along.

whatever. now i'm just sorry for him. and if i can take ten minutes to explain budget-related things to him, and he retains it somehow, and applies it, then i'm okay with that.

as long as it doesn't require looking at him while he is talking to me, i think i can handle it and not keep him from growing up.

we will see. it will be a while.

nina said it well last night. she said it was so sad that he won't do anything to change his situation. and thanked me for doing something about the one where i was in it with him.

it does feel good to have reassurance. from the moment i left, in the darkest first few months, in the best summer of my life since the one where i was 19, through the saddest winter in a long time, and even now that it's over but not over.

all along the way, i've been shown that i did the right thing. that i made the right choice. and that i got out before his shit got somehow worse than it was when i left him.

that's enough for the surprises. i'm hoping there are no more. i've had plenty. i used to love surprises. i don't know that i can say that i do now. maybe after the bad ones are finished, i'll appreciate them again.

mortality and morality. feb 18th.

the death continues to affect me.

i talked to kit a little about it today.

i used to contemplate my own untimely death when i was married. a friend of mine, from suck store, had something crazy happen in her life. she came home from work one day, and found her husband face down at the bottom of the stairs, in the basement. he had fallen, and been like that for five hours. he's paralyzed, it took a couple months until he could even speak again. and now, her life is about taking care of him, because he cannot take care of himself. one day, things are normal. then next, things are not.

that is what prompted my line of thinking originally. and in the end, i was using it as a way to discuss with ever what he would do if i wasn't around. under the pretense that 'something happened' to me.

in actuality, it was peace of mind about leaving him.

but i thought about what happens when something like this happens. what happens to your facebook account? your email? what happens to your bank account? what if you have a secret account? what happens at work? how do the bills get paid? how could people get passwords to get into things like that, if they don't know where to look?

in my case, i have this super top secret blog. i spent a lot of time worrying about it being found, by ever, in the case of my death. i took great care to delete history and clear caches.

when i thought it, i told both nina and kit my universal password. just in case. they had access to things ever didn't even know existed. and had strict orders to delete certain messages between us that would have given me away.

and i walked the straight and narrow with him. yes, there were emails that i was a little too excited about. and commentary about said emails. but i never crossed a line in real life, while i was with him. and i wonder how often secret lives come up when someone dies unexpectedly.

i also told each of them what was theirs if i was to leave this world.

so talking about it today brought it back up.

because i was on the road, i guess i was thinking about this accident that happened maybe a couple years ago. a semi was driving in the fast lane on 95 and lost a tire. the tire flew across the barricade and hit a minivan that was traveling in the direction i travel, in the fast lane i usually drive in, at the time of day when i used to drive home from suck store. the semi lost control and ended up on the opposite side of 95 after barreling through the barricade. it came to rest against the wall on the far side, four lanes across, five from where it started.

and a couple days later, when i made the drive, i saw where things had ended up, against the barricade by the emergency lane. the tire had killed the driver on impact, due to physics - two vehicles traveling opposite directions at high speeds.

and since that happened, most of the time when i am driving back from delaware, i think of that accident. it makes me nervous to be in the fast lane. because accidents happen all the time, and there's no median to protect the two fast lanes from each other. just a chunk of concrete that hopes to be high enough to keep lanes from merging. add a bunch of road rage idiots, lack of turn signal usage, and some jackasses in souped up car to the mix, weaving in and out of cars at retarded speeds, and hopping on the interstate for five minutes is taking life into your own hands. oh, and texting drivers. how could i forget?

the thought is always fleeting. but i always think it. and it's like i am waiting to see a car flipping up and over the barricade, or a semi to come crashing through it, or a gigantic tire heading for my windshield.

ah, the joys of anxiety disorder.

in any case, aside from that, at my absolute worst, i have momentarily contemplated running my car into a wall or a telephone pole when i felt lost and sad and hopeless and angry. or the split second thought that i'd miss this life if i jumped off a bridge on my way to work. because the water catches my eye sometimes. and lately, there have been massive chunks of ice floating, but not moving.

don't worry, readers. i don't have a death wish. i used to think those things when i was really angry at ever, and thought, 'i'll show him!' but it never lasted more than the second it crossed my mind. and i never would actually do it.

in any case, maybe this is a good time for a bucket list of sorts.

nate recently fessed up to having a condition, in his brain, that requires surgery to ensure he'll go on living. and though shocked by the news, i was further shocked that he is blatantly refusing treatment. because he doesn't want to live as a vegetable. or as a person without speaking or writing skills. he's so afraid of what could possibly happen, as side effects, if something goes wrong in surgery, that he is content to die in a blaze of his usual glory in the next three to four years, when he suffers an aneurysm.

i completely disagree with his attitude about it. yes, it's scary. but i can't imagine knowing i only had three or four years left. kinda like ever. and doing nothing about it. also kinda like ever.

what is with these boys? do they really feel like they have lived as much as they can? that their current legacy is substantial enough? that they've done what they feel they ought to have done?

don't get me wrong. i don't want to die old. or of cancer. or alzheimers. but i don't want to die in four years either. what can help them is modern medicine. if the benefit didn't outweigh the risks, they wouldn't have an option.

this week has shown me that you just never know. and since my life has become crazy in the last year, i eased up on the procrastination, and have taken to the 'don't put off til tomorrow what you can do today' mantra.

and because i know that my time here is limited, this is what i want to do before i die. and because a long and full life has only been promised to me by a $5 palm reading in atlantic city last winter, i won't put these things off much longer:

1. get a passport (very very soon) and go to canada (with kit)
2. go to europe
3. go to australia
4. go to iceland
5. go skydiving (summer of 2011, with aubree)
6. go on a stargazing camping trip up the west coast (fall of 2011)
7. fly somewhere alone and hang out for a few days (boston?)
8. drive west again
9. eat indian food in india (the safe variety)
10. publish a book
11. practice art regularly
12. fall in love again
13. make a baby
14. swim with dolphins
15. build a place where people enjoy being, where i can do what i love, and love what i do
16. buy a silver bullet (streamline) and travel across the country for at least a month
17. backpack in italy
18. camp in a foreign country (spain?)
19. go on a haunted house/ghost tour
20. see a medium, and try to contact people that i miss. a legit one. if such a thing exists...

most of these require traveling, which is easiest without kids and before settling down. before bones and joints begin to ache. before you get permanently tired.

think of this as my new five year plan...

and now, the morality portion of the evening.

back to the virtual boys.

and the real life boys, as well.

i went to a different neighborhood with kit tonight, to have a beer with a guy friend of hers.

he's a homebrewer, trying to find a spot to put his brewery, and start his dream business. i love beer. but this guy LOVES beer. and knows beer. a lot about everything beer-related.

he's nice, and friendly, and we had a drink with him and talked outside, because it was such a nice night.

(a quick note to say that, if you live near this city, i hope you spent time in the weather today. it was absolutely perfect.)

on the drive there, i was watching out the passenger side window while kit drove us up to the bar.

and everywhere, every minute or two, there was a hot boy to smile about.

it was like everyone came out of hibernation today, and got out for a walk or an adventure tonight. when i am on the prowl (i am) and when there are hot boys everywhere (there were), i have this joke with her, where i pant. like a dog. i'm making fun of myself. and it is funny, how simple i can be sometimes. how i feel like i can't control my urge to pounce, yet do absolutely nothing to further the quest.

i clamjam myself. or cockblock myself. either. both.

my body language probably reads as liking women. because i'm comfortable and relaxed around women. and instead of smiling or saying hi to boys, most of the time, i shy away from boys. because i think that the one i want would never want me. it's a fear of rejection.

it's why i've taken to the online thing. because i can rate every single one that i want in a way that, if they think the same about me, i will be notified.

it sets it up. yes, it takes the mystery out of it. and for people like me, who are not photogenic, it's pretty unfair.

it's yet to happen. but i have faith. and not only that, but i also am not ashamed to lower my asshole standards if the need arises after a while of rating and not being rated highly. before that happens, i will cast the net with the winks. and the messages. i think if i was a dude, i'd only go for chicks that said something to me. why should we always expect men to instigate? well, i say that, knowing it's not like that anymore. and i feel very aware of my southern roots all of a sudden, because i still feel like it is.

it takes the guess work out of it. yeah, we might not gel. but i think you're cute and you think i'm cute. and that's fucking further than i'd ever get in a bar with you. so i'll take it.

so we got to where we were going. and the three of us were talking. and there were boys everywhere. it was like hot boy mecca for a minute.

and half of them were with girls. but half of them were with other guys. two of them were standing right behind us, when her friend disappeared into the bar.

and at one point, my back was to them, but i had already smiled back at them once. and one of them did the singing bit from the justin timberlake snl skit, the beegees talk show. and i cracked up and turned around and laughed/smiled in their direction.

but that was it. i didn't take it any further than that. and neither did they. and then they were gone. and then we were.

aside from that, i now think i see boys from the site in real life. maybe it's because i've now run into three on the site that i know in real life. reverse odds must be staggering.

and, at the same time, i keep waiting for some random dude (scary or not necessarily) to walk up to me and say, 'don't i know you? are you on dating site?'

in my list of unrealistic fallout fears, i've conjured up a few this week that were pretty good. or bad, as the case may be.

first and foremost, as i suspected, i'm afraid that ever's going to say, 'you got matched with my friend.'

because he got matched with my friend a year ago. again, reverse odds. he knows fucking everyone. i know like 40 people.

also, i fear that the people i think i recognize from real life are people that i do know of. or that i'll accidentally rate them incorrectly and then they'll think i like them, but i actually don't. but that's entirely too much thinking.

or, i am afraid that one day, dating site server will glitch the fuck out, and then everyone will see what everyone else rates them. people will decide i'm a shallow piece of shit. and i'll realize the volume of guys who think i'm as lame as i think they are.

i'm afraid that i'll find someone i like in real life. and marvel at the fact that they're on dating site. and then they'll know and i'll be embarrassed.

or that i'll see someone's boyfriend. or husband. and then i'll have to tell them.

how's that for unreasonable fear? add it to the list that starts with 'having an ugly baby'. i could go on for days about unreasonable fears, but that would probably wreck what bit of relaxation and sanity i am able to achieve on a daily basis, mostly with the aid of beer and humor.

and because i keep finding more fucked up pictures, along with many more 'which one are you' guys, i'll add to that list from the other night.

(i think my calling might be in writing about online dating. a column. i could attempt to make comics about it...

i was chatting with nina about it. i want to tell some of them: never take off your hat, shave the beard, keep the beard, cut your hair, grow your hair, don't wear the pink shirt, keep the glasses, ditch the glasses, etc. stuff like that. because there are a great number of guys who have some really flattering photos next to really unflattering photos, and apparently they can't tell the difference between the two.)

you get 1 star if:

s. you're wearing different colored wifebeaters. in every picture.

that's it for tonight. i've been working on this post, halfheartedly, for the better part of three hours.

affected. february 17th.

the first time i heard the word 'affected', nina's mom used it. i think it was probably sixth grade. i'll have to check. it had to do with style, looking affected.

today something happened. i was at work, plugging along. and kit texted me.

her friend's husband was found dead in his hotel room bed this morning, in chicago.

i know her friend, but not well at all. i'm sure i've talked to her at a few events where we were in the room together.

when kit's family was here at thanksgiving, the two of them joined us, and i sat at their table for just a few minutes while they sipped martinis and beer.

i was in the same place as him maybe twice.

so these are not people who are/were my friends, really.

but just hearing that this happened really affected me. it was on my mind all day at work.

part of it is the shock of the news, obviously. but another part of it is their age. i mean, he seemed a little bit older to me, but i'd only guess late 30s. i think she's a little bit older than me, mid 30s.

it's just so crazy. when it's not your close friend going through it, the things that go through your mind seem inappropriate and odd.

did he have life insurance? what the hell happened? was it drugs? was it his brain? were there warning signs? did he feel crappy and decide to lay down, only to never get up again? who found him? did they spend valentine's day together? how long were they married? is she pregnant? did she want to be? were they happy? they certainly seemed happy together. and honestly, poised for a rich life together. he looked like a classy businessman. she's a super smart, classy girl.

i don't know. it's so strange. especially because i worried that i would be an early widow when i was married, and i know that this came as a complete and totally unexpected shock.

and then i think about all the people that i know who are good friends with her. the first thing i asked kit was, is someone with her? and she said a lot of people are. and then i wondered, when something like this happens, what happens? i mean i only have my baby brother's death to relate it to. which is nothing like a husband. how long can a person stand having people around before they freak out and make everyone leave them alone? how long does it take to feel normal? to go back to work? to be happy again? to smile? to eat? to want to eat? for things to really sink in?

i just cannot fathom it.

like i said, a lot of inappropriate things that i'd never ask anyone who is her friend. but i think that death does interesting things to the living, particularly their brains.

and my heart goes out to her.

i remember one of the saddest things when my brother died was the breakdown of my father, the hardest i have ever seen him cry, when he windexed away my brother's handprints from the sliding glass door.

and hearing somewhere along the way that it took a long time to remember that the family needed one less place setting. as in, they kept setting the table for five, but one person no longer came to dinner. and how heartbreaking that is to experience, every day, until it sinks in.

seeing in movies that people don't wash clothes belonging to that person, because they want the smell of that person to linger.

and i wondered what will happen to her that feels like that. what will she do one day, when she is so exhausted and dazed, that will be that thing? it hurts to think about it.

not to mention that now, for the rest of her life, valentine's day will be forever ruined.

today was the most stellar day of the year so far.

sunny and 60. everyone was happy and smiling and in a good mood. and then that happened.

so, yeah. dark day today. morbid. sad. affected.

and another thing i couldn't help but to wonder was, last night when kit felt really awkward and awful when we were out together... was she sensing it? she felt completely out of sorts and unwell. was she somehow picking up on his death? i didn't even ask her today if she was feeling better, because i assume she's going to try to help her friend as soon as she is able, and i don't want to interfere.

today i worked. then came home. and i spent a little time on the dating site, anonymously rating boys.

last night out, kit said, 'that's not shallow at all,' sarcastically, when i said that i rate the majority based only on their pictures.

i can't help it. when you're not looking for a boyfriend, when you're not looking for mister perfect, when you're not looking for mister right, physical attraction is what it comes down to.

and as i was looking, i decided to make a little list for you guys. this is my asshole judgmental criteria for rating boys on dating site...

i'm going to rate you as a 1 if:

your picture is taken in your bathroom mirror and your cameraphone is in the photo, along with any of the following:

a. your mirror is nasty
b. your toilet is in the background
c. your abs are on display
d. you're wearing sunglasses
e. your earbuds are in, and in the picture
f. you're flexing

aside from that, i'm going to rate you a 1 if:

a. your car is a profile pic
b. your jacked up truck is a profile pic
c. your motorcycle is a profile pic

it's going to take a lot to rate you higher than a 1 if:

a. there's a picture of a newborn or infant in your pic that leads me to believe it's yours
b. you have one picture, it's taken from a cameraphone and is pixelated/blurry
c. your profile picture is sideways
d. if all of your pictures are sideways
e. your profile name ends in ..._4u (what the site suggests when duplicate names exist)
f. your pictures show you surrounded by a bunch of women
g. your pictures are all taken in the same shirt at the same place at the same time
h. your self summary contains 'lol' or 'u'
i. there is a celebrity photo in your profile pictures
j. if you're wearing more than one necklace
k. if you're wearing sunglasses indoors
l. if it looks like you're at a frat party
m. if it looks like you're with your boys 'down the shore'
n. you're not smiling in any of your pictures
o. you say you're a photographer, and your pictures suck
p. you are drunk in every picture
q. you look like you smell
r. you are in church

and, finally, i'm not rating you higher than a 1 if your pictures are taken from your laptop or bedroom mirror and

a. your room is a hot mess
b. i can see your underwear hanging out of whatever bottoms you are wearing
c. you're wearing sunglasses (again)
d. you're wearing a basketball team jersey

you know, there was this one boy. and his picture was so adorable. he looked exactly like a boy i would like. he reminded me so much of dr sam. but he has three other pictures. and none of them look recognizable as being him also.

so one is just his face. thin, beardy, dark hair. one is his back, with some weird tribal tattoo in the center of it, bald head big muscles. one is his face, looking twice the width of the other, with a beanie cap, and pot smoke streaming out of his mouth.

i was trying to explain it to nina last night in my saison stupor, and couldn't get my point across.

i just kept thinking, 'wait. which one ARE you?'

i would seriously think every picture was a different guy. and it bummed me out, because the dark beardy one is adorable.

and it's totally commonplace. a lot of the guys have pictures with long hair and then pictures with shaved heads. pictures looking like mountainmen and pictures where they're cleanshaven. or pictures where there is a crazy difference in weight. did you get skinny, or were you skinny?

if you're going to do that, just put a circa note on the picture. this picture is circa 2000. this one was taken yesterday.

there's someone for everyone. some girls want mr right, and are nice/good people. and looks aren't everything. some girls just want to fuck anyone, and they don't care at all about any of it. and then different girls have different standards. some want tall guys, and eliminate all the short ones i prefer. some want gym rats with ripped bodies. give me the scrawny ones.

i have a type. and yeah, if the guy is hot (to me), but what he says is stupid, i won't rate him above a 2. but i'm going to say that 90% of the boys on this site get 1 star within the first two seconds. and except for a couple boys, anyone from jersey gets a 1.

god, i'm going to burn in hell.

and yeah, that makes me shallow.

last night, i was proud of myself for rating a boy a 4, who i wasn't attracted to, for the most part. because everything he wrote was funny and awesome, and because we like a lot of the same things. because there's also an aspect of this site that could spark friendships. and this guy would make an awesome friend.

at this point, i'd like to make another list. this is the 'i'm not responding to your message if...' list:

a. your message starts with, 'hey, beautiful.'
b. your message consists of the words, 'hey, beautiful.'
c. you misuse your/you're
d. it looks like you have copied and pasted the same lines a thousand times (it's generic)

that's my rant about that for tonight.

i found the most amazing guy. and got incredibly excited after reading his profile. and according to site, we're a 91% match.

i was excited until i read the very last line.

'sorry - i can't date a smoker.'


i was really feeling it until that. despite the two lines before that, explaining that he's in an open relationship with someone who is in an open marriage.

how's that for complicated? and? he's 26.


how is it that a stoner can't date a smoker?

pot breath is so much worse than cigarette breath. i wonder what aspect is the dealbreaker. i never understood people who smoke pot and don't want cigarettes afterward.

but i'm willing to bet that he took all of 1 second to give me 1 star when he saw that i'm a smoker.

voyeur? february 16th.

so today landlord texted that he wouldn't be showing the apartment anymore because he rented it.

it's nice to not have to worry about keeping it clean.

it's nice to not have to worry about people wandering through.

and it's nice to not have to worry that no one would take my place.

i knew that he had to be close, because he has shown it so many times.

i hope it's a dude. a dude who doesn't bake. who has a cat for the mice that have popped up in the last couple weeks. who likes it when the neighbor has super loud, long and drawn out sex. last night was so unreal. they were obviously having fantastic sex. i went outside to smoke, because i wasn't succeeding at completely drowning it out. and on my stoop, on the first floor, with headphones on, and i could hear her screaming from the third floor.


seriously. not exaggerating. and when i smoked a couple cigarettes and then went back in? still going at it. it was like a two hour sexathon. what was really strange is that someone left the apartment and came back inside at some point. their door is on the other side of the wall from my bedroom wall. so when they go in and out, it sounds like they're in my apartment. i probably said aloud, 'thank gawd...' when the door closed the first time. and then there was more screaming.

i don't know. maybe they had condoms in the car outside or something and ran out mid-sexathon?

i can't believe that the first several months that i lived there, i never heard them. i don't know what changed. but the last couple months, a couple times a week, i'll be watching tv or listening to music. and hear them over it.

this weekend, it was funny.

i mean, not funny, because i don't take pleasure in people being upset. but because it was crazy landlord, it was funny.

i was watching nip/tuck at full volume, and i heard someone yelling. at first, i thought he had a movie playing through his stereo or something. and i paused my show, like 'what the hell is that?'

and i heard his voice. yelling.

and i walked to my door, listening.

and i heard muffled yelling, a girl and him.

and i heard him yell, 'i spent like twenty minutes calming you down last week when you got angry! you know...'

and i got into the shower at that point. let them calm down and not be a jerk and listen to their fight.

does this make me a voyeur? i mean, i intentionally tried to listen to the fight, but felt guilty about five seconds in. i try to drown out the screaming sex. both make me uncomfortable. more for them than for me. and for me, because i wonder what they have heard me say when i've had yelling phone conversations. or in-person conversations venting about something. or when chalk was here.

god. i hope no one has heard anything, but the sheer quantity of things i hear make that seem very unlikely.

to this, i add one little thing. i mean, it sucks, but it's not the same as for people.

our neighbor has a dog. the house that was formerly glee house. and i guess the guy is gone a lot. and leaves his dog home alone a lot. it's a tiny dog. and very vocal dog.

and the thing barks all day, all night. every day. and it sounds like it's in the stairwell, despite being in the next building over.

it just fits in with everything else i hear, in this apartment.

i was telling lauren the other night about how, when i moved into kit's as my halfway house, i spent a lot of time in total silence. i loved the sound of the refrigerator kicking on and off. but i had spent so much time in the house being inundated by sound and people and noise, all hours of the day and night, that i shifted when i left. from being someone who always has music on, and a song in my head, to sitting in perfect silence. for hours at a time. and enjoying it. appreciating it.

and i remember the sounds of the house. there are sounds of walls settling. the sound of the neighbor (car wash) cranking the same four songs on the rap radio station from 730 in the morning until 1 am the next day. washing cars. the sound of drug dealers outside the first floor windows all hours of the night.

before, it included the sound of the puppy barking at everything. but it won't now.

i think that, if i let myself sit in silence there, i might go a little crazy.

i remember the very first night that i slept in that house.

the floors were a mess. we'd been sanding them for days already. we had our piece of shit futon, and slept in the office. which was the room that the heater was in. and i didn't sleep at all that night.

i had to work in the morning, and i remember waking up every time the heater kicked on. and because it was january, it was kicking on every ten or so minutes. i kept waking up and forgetting where i was, disoriented. the dog kept barking at noises she wasn't accustomed to. and the sounds of the house made me think that someone was trying to break in.

it took a few nights to get a good night's sleep. a change of venue included.

and i am afraid that moving back in will be a little bit like that. i don't know the routines of the boy roommates, so it will be really odd to hear people coming in and out.

nina said something last night, about spinning everything to the positive. and i am trying. but i also don't want to walk into this situation and get blindsided left and right.

i have to think about these things. i mean, i've been living alone, cleaning up after only myself. if a sound is made inside my place, it's because i made it.

the good thing about the move is that i will spend a lot of time out of the house, because i really won't want to be there if i'm not working on it actively.

and part of me hopes they bail on me. because, while it will be awesome to collect rent and live for free, i know they've been living without any rules. and that i intend to implement some. for example, no smoking in the house. if i decide to have the third floor, then they won't be allowed up there at all. part of me feels like i should do that, just to have my own bathroom and all. in a way, i could set up pretty much everything i own on that floor, because it's as big as my apartment. just without a kitchen.

thinking about it, actively, is how i'm preparing for it. i'm afraid. i guess i've been too content to bitch about my apartment, too lazy to move out of it because i hated it, and now all i can think is that i'm going to miss it and that i have to move.

i need packing tape.

luckily, i saved all of my awesome boxes that i had when i moved in. the big ones, the sturdy ones. the one for my wall unit. that should make things easier.

and there's no reason not to start, especially on the things that i don't ever need or use. luckily, some stuff is still packed. and i can even buy more bins that i would want anyway, and just move everything in those.


it's almost time to go.

i'm tired. from boredom and laziness. i feel myself getting fatter every day. from beer and overeating when i feel bad.

but tonight is art class. and that will be awesome. and friday is payday. it's going to suck for me, because i changed my tax withholding to be single. i have a feeling my check is going to be like $300 less than normal.

this was the time to do it though. because i have no rent due.

a bright light. a beacon of hope...

pun intended. february 15th.

for the first time, i'm not sifting through a box full of empty valentine's day candy wrappers, trying to find what candy ever didn't eat, and left behind for me to try to find.

i remember writing about it when i first left him, but i'll revisit, in honor of valentine's day.

i think it's funny now, looking back, that i put the majority of the food on our table. we didn't actually have a table that we ate at. so i guess it would be more accurate to say that i put it in the house.

and he was notorious for taking things i bought for myself, and eating them when he couldn't sleep at night. it got to be so bad that i would buy two of everything, so he had his own. and he would still eat mine.

half gallons of ice cream and oreos, specifically. he wasn't above 'confusing' our christmas stockings, which i filled with candy, and eating all of it. but it drove me absolutely batty that he would put the empty wrappers back.

even if it was just a bag of snack size candy bars. he refused to unwrap things and throw the wrappers away.

i started buying things he didn't like for myself. anything with coconut in it. and he would eat it anyway.

in the end, i would get so mad that i would cry and scream at him. 'what the FUCK? i bought you two things of ice cream! why did you eat mine?'

'because i couldn't sleep.'

and in the end, i used to make him walk to the store to replace what i wanted when i discovered it was missing. especially in the wintertime. saying as he refused to go to the store with me, and acted like a grandpa when he did, slowing me down unbelievably. and for the most part, he'd always be 'busy' when i got home with twenty bags of groceries. in the house, it was easier, because it was up five steps of a stoop. in the apartment we had for five years, it was up three stories to the kitchen. and he'd show up to help more often than not on the last trip inside.

it's going to take a while to break myself of thinking that these things are normal. that chivalry isn't dead. that someone i have a future relationship with will actually respect me and appreciate me. that men sometimes shovel the sidewalk and dig the car out. that they help you carry things.

i'm telling you now... when i find a guy that cooks and bathes and cleans and cares about what i think, and takes care of me in bed, and respects me, and wants to be around me, and takes me out to dinner and actually PAYS for it? holy shit... i might die of shock. but if i don't die, i wonder how many times i'll have to be exposed to boys like that to start to believe that there is more than just one in the world.

and that i should continue playing the lottery, because i just got really fucking unlucky when i went to the bar the night i met him.

this is written on the heels of a less than thrilling valentine's day. don't get me wrong - it was great. it was fun. it seems that, daily, i'm reminded of the caliber of friends i have surrounded myself with.

but i guess the reason it didn't feel thrilling was that i had intended to flirt my ass off at work. and when it came down to it, part of it can only be described as chickening out. which i am at least consistent in doing. but something else happened.

i was genuinely surprised when caterpillar came in the morning. he's a 1pm coffee kinda dude. and so when he came through at 930, he caught me totally off guard. and kim and pam did the typical set spike setup. pam asked me to get milk, kim said she'd get it, and i turned to help the guy at the register. who just happened to be him.

and i said, 'wow. this is early for you. what happened? you extra tired today?'

i know. i'm an idiot.

and he said he always brings coffee from home, but that he'd run out of beans.

and i might have audibly sighed. i mean, he has beans at home? and he makes coffee?? what a dreamboat!

and that was it. no flirting. no small talk. out the door with a stupid 'see you later'.

oh, but if only it ended there...

no. he came back. still way before his normal time. maybe at 11. with some short blond girl.

oh, shit...

yeah, that's right. his girl is kinda vanilla. but she's in research, too. so she's smart. honestly, i couldn't look either of them in the eyes, so i don't really know who she was. i'd certainly never remember her later. it felt like an alpha male type of a thing, where she had him and i looked away because i shouldn't be looking at him, and she totally has the upper hand.

he paid for her diet yogurt.


and the girls were trying to help. and pam asked if he was coming back later for coffee, because he didn't want any then. and she answered for him.

wait. what?

she said he'd be back later. and then he said he'd be back later for coffee. and in reality, he did not come back.

we were all taken aback.

and they left together and i think i just stood there deaf/dumb/mute. and they walked out, and i realized that was most definitely the girlfriend.

and they walked out the door, and stood outside the glass doors. and i stood behind the machine, where we have cups stacked way over our eyes. and said, 'oh my god - he's going to kiss her. i can't look!'

but the person inside of me who knows that denial isn't just a river parted the cups slightly, and watched as he bent slightly and swooped sideways to kiss her. and that was when i looked away. it was sweet and romantic. it was fucking valentine's day.

and the girls said that he kissed her on her cheek. three times.

are you kidding me? on valentine's day? pretty much the only day it's widely acceptable to suck face in public. and you give him your cheek? ugh. i see that much action from robbie, who is NOT my boyfriend.

it sucked. it reminded me of coffee. i had been doing so well.

it reminded me of hearing he had a girlfriend. and thinking i wanted to know who, because surely she was more awesome than me, and i'd be happy that he's happy. that it would be good and end all those stupid crushy feelings that have absolutely no validity.

and the same thing happened. she was a total BITCH. and i was like, really?? this girl?? are you shitting me???

ugh. the worst. same type of chick. calls the shots. tells him what he will and won't do.

and when we didn't see him today, we said, 'oh hell no! you know that bitch isn't letting him come over here to say hi unaccompanied.'

and it felt exactly like coffee's girl popping up everywhere he invited me to go.

i know. it's really stupid. i could never date a guy who wears jeans that are baby blue in hue. i know. he is a total geek, and not in a good way.

but he has been my biggest crush at work all these months since he first showed his face.

and like coffee, it's time to start burying all those stupid feelings, and time to explain to myself logically why it would never ever work out between us.

i write all of this, laughing with tears in the corners of my eyes, smiling. but it was a sad day.

luckily, it was crazy busy and went by quickly, and kit and lauren left at the same time i did to hit happy hour.

it was fun to hang out as three, and when kit went home to have a skype date with her boy, lauren and i had fun as just two also.

and when realtor was an hour late, i had to text her that i was going home. because three beers in, i was beat and full and not really feeling like being there any more.

so i walked lauren to the bus and came home and watched some internet tv and passed out.

it was a good night. it totally saved the day that i had.

and what's funny is that, just writing that last sentence, i am suddenly very aware of an old habit that might be resurfacing.

i used to let interactions with boys dictate how happy i was. and if i didn't get what i wanted from them, i was devastated. one boy could singlehandedly ruin or make my day with one sentence.

and i am over-dramatizing caterpillar. but it really did put a damper on my fun.

i'll have to be careful.

i cannot slip back into that.

but i'm overly ready to have some fun.

there was no caterpillar today. either they called out because he proposed to her and swept her away, or she cracked the whip, or he realized she was a bitch and dumped her ass and was too sad to come to work today. my mind runs from me at times.

i guess it gives it time to sink in.

the other boyfriend came by today, the one who smiles sideways. and i tried to flirt with him a little, but i don't know that it came off okay. plus he said he had a great valentine's day, so it wasn't off to the best start.

kim was giving him a hard time for not coming by to be our valentine. as in the three of us. and i said, 'it's okay. your girl doesn't have to know...'

i thought it was funny, but in hindsight, maybe it just sounded off. or desperate.

and then? then something amazing happened.

and by amazing, i mean retarded. god, if kit reads this post, she will HURT me.

so there's this boy joey.

he comes by for coffee like once every other month. really really infrequently. but he's really loud and really tall and really funny. the last couple times he came by, we discussed his tattoos, because he has full sleeves that extend to his hands. and he looks like he would smell, but he doesn't. kinda ratty jeans and flannel shirts. he's cute, though.

and so we usually chitchat when he does come by.

the last time he came by, he went to leave the building (god, it's bad - i'm laughing so hard that i'm shaking the laptop right now, and tearing up simultaneously), he walked into the window.

apparently, it happens all the time. i have only seen it once. the entire building is glass. and there are huge flat panes of glass on either side of the door. and people who aren't paying attention think it's the door and smack into it. it is always loud. the one day i saw it happen, i laughed for hours. and i am not one of those people who laugh when people fall down. but seeing people try to walk through windows is funny.

when joey did it, we heard it but didn't know what it was. and greg the guard came over and said we should tell our friend not to walk into the glass next time he comes by.

that was a while ago. but greg thinks he's dumb because he walked into the window.

today, something funny happened. he came over and stood in front of me for a second. i wasn't paying attention, and he said hi. he has a really deep loud voice, so it got my attention, and i said hey blah blah how's it going whatever.

he asked if i wanted to see his new tattoo. i said sure.

so he took off one of his shirts. but the way he did it was so funny. i'm sure i looked nervous. i had no idea where the tattoo was going to be. i half expected him to unbuckle his pants, or pull his shirt up to show his belly. but it was on his upper arm.

he asked if i could tell who it was, and i knew that i knew it. but i couldn't say. it was hannibal lecter. alright. whatever. great movie. but really? dudes face on your arm? alright.

anyways, he wanted coffee, so he put his clothes back on and i grabbed his coffee. handed it to him. and asked him what kind of research he does.

fucking NEUROSCIENCE. does that automatically make him a genius, or can anyone do neuroscience research? i don't know. i like to think that he is super smart, and that he likes fucking with people by throwing them off by appearances.

he walked away and kim was just looking at me shaking her head.

and when she does that, i crack up. like, 'what is it this time?'

and so, very carefully she said, 'you really didn't hear that?'

and i'm all, 'hear what?'

and she said, 'he said "let's do it. pun intended."'


i guess that when he asked if i wanted to see his tattoo and i said sure, he said 'let's do it. pun intended.'

how the fuck i missed it, i will never know.

this is just how oblivious i am. i actually like this dude. i'd go out with him in a heartbeat because he's hysterical and i think he'd be fun to drink with and hang out with.

she said it was so loud, she heard it and cracked up.

i can't believe i missed it.

god. i could have said, 'what's for dinner?' or, 'you have to buy me a drink first', or something else suggesting i'm not totally easy.

but i fucking missed it. and now, when he comes back in like another month, i'll have to be there. and see him. and think of something witty to say as a nudge back.

in any case, that is joey.

he might be my next easy target.

it could be as simple as, 'you should come have a beer with me sometime.' he said before that he spends all of his money on cheap beer and expensive tattoos.

that is all it would take.

i'd break my 'i won't fuck/date customers rule', because he only comes by like once a month or every other month. so it would be okay. he's not a regular. he certainly doesn't come more than once a day.

so if it went poorly, it would be one uncomfortable exposure to him once in a blue moon. or he just wouldn't come by at all, ever.

i can totally deal with that.

he originated our punch card wall of shame for our regulars. his card has been there for over a year. and now he has a free drink waiting, which i pointed out to him. so hopefully he comes by sooner than later.

i'll keep you posted.

and in dating site news, there's really no news.

i got another message and another wink. from more dudes i am not attracted to. i am up to i guess five so far.

part of me loves the fact that it shows who you visit and who visits you. a couple cuties looked at my profile. i hate that, if i go back to look at them, they know. and because i panic in the moment and shut down their profile, if i go back again, it will show up again. what a mess.

especially because i am supposed to rate them. because, if they rate me, and we both rate each other highly, it suggests that we contact each other. so now i have to go back to every single one i liked and note that i like them. because now i know it's anonymous, so i don't worry about marking the majority of them as 1s.

i really didn't want to know that some sixty-something year old biker dude looked at my profile yesterday. GROSS.

i'll keep you guys posted about that as well.

i guess that, all things considered, it was a mellow valentine's day.

i was smoking with lauren when i realized that a year ago, i told ever i wanted out. i knew it going into v day, but hadn't actually re-realized it yesterday.

and because i am definitely still in shock about it, it's not exciting or freeing or sad either.

i keep feeling nothing.

and i keep fearing it hitting me when i go 'home'. to the house. to live.

i know it will be fun and wonderful to have people over, to cook, all the things i listed out for myself in that other post.

but i'm afraid of being there alone. or un-alone with roommates i don't know. i'm afraid of being alone there at night. in the dark. i'm afraid that i will feel the full weight of being divorced and lonely and sad once i am back there. that every moment i am there will serve as the reminder. all the miserable days and nights i spent crying in that house, in my room, on my bed, on the back deck in the sun summer before last. how all i wanted was out. and how all i get now is to go back.

that it will hurt more than i think it will. like exposure therapy. submerging myself in the place that made me wish i could undo the past ten years of my life. for several months.

as is typical for me, it's a bipolar post. laughing and being excited about boys, and then feeling like i should probably be crying over my divorce being final.

up down. up down.

manic. depressed. sleeping too much. not sleeping enough.

i wish there was a method to it. i get fed up with the surprises most of the time.

i hate the sunday nights up until 4 am occasions. and the didn't get out of bed on saturday occasions.

i hate feeling really slaphappy and then becoming momentarily quiet, and wondering why i'm so bummed out all of a sudden.

it happens all the time. and i don't know if there is a pattern to it, because the waves are so infrequent that it's not like mapping my period every month.

and it doesn't correlate to that, which would be the best and the easiest.

it feels completely random.

forgive me for not writing for a few days.

tomorrow is suck store. i'm sure i'll have lots of time to write there. maybe i'll have some deeper issues to broach. maybe i'll get to the root of something.

but for tonight, i am done.

thanks, friends, for making my valentine's day better than tolerable.

thanks, friends, for supporting me over the last year. and to a couple of you, who knew before the rest, the last year and a half.

it's nice to write. it's nice to be read.

spa day. kindof. feb 13th.

so i can't afford a spa day. that is obvious.

i did the next best thing.

i went to hair cuttery. i paid some nutty jersey girl $15 to fix what aubree did to my hair.

she had the craziest eye shadow on. she was covered in makeup and perfume, but her lids were bright purple.

yeah, in a way you get what you pay for. she took like 3 seconds to wash my hair. and that is my favorite part of getting my hair cut.

and yeah, she talked to everyone who worked in the salon instead of me. but i always kinda hate small talk at the salon anyway. i could have done without her being all loud in my ear, though.

anyway, she had a lot to say about letting my sister cut my hair, and how messed up it was. but she fixed it. and i am happy. end of story.

so i went from there to the gym to spend ten minutes in fake sunlight.

there's something so strange about how your skin smells after you sweat under those lights. the fans make it evaporate. it doesn't smell like the sweat you work up in other ways.

i know it's bad, but it makes me feel better. fake sunlight in the wintertime. it's so warm. i have gone twice in the last couple weeks, and not for several months before that.

in any case, i got a tan. then i gave my car a spa day. i went to the $3 car wash. much better, miss b. much better. no salt. no dirt. and no snow on the horizon. i heard it's going to hit 60 this week.

then i got home.

i really wanted a pedicure this weekend. because never in my life have i ever one. i couldn't swing that, so i did the next best thing.

i came home, grabbed a sea dog (blueberry ale) and made a bubble bath. beer in the bath. i have only done it a couple times ever. really i hadn't taken bubble baths in years, until chalk came to visit. and only once after chalk, the night my mom surprised me and showed up at my door.

after my bubble bath, i gave myself a pedicure.

speaking of surprising me, showing up at my front door...

brownies sent me flowers today.

i was up this am and wanted to be out for landlord to show the place at noon. which is why i decided to get the haircut today. but just before i was about to leave, landlord texted that flowers showed up for me.

i went downstairs to get them. they are so pretty. little tulips that mostly hadn't bloomed yet. but are just about to.

when i opened the card, i laughed and almost cried a little.

it was from brownies, her dog, and her two cats. my not so secret admirers. it was the cutest card.

totally made my morning.

i had a coffee at favorite bar with kit before going on my little adventure. landlord showed the place to a couple, they showed up 30 minutes late, as i was getting home, so i walked around the block a few times until they left.

kit left from brunch and went to dc, because her sister went into labor overnight. she just had him a little bit ago.

so it's valentine's day eve.

and i'm okay with having a quiet and lonely weekend.

because it's going to take a while for the single life to be fun.

i got two messages just about instantaneously, upon signing up for the dating site.

one was a guy who thought i'd want beer with him because he had the goonies box set complete with board game.

the other was a young man, all of 25, who told me i was beautiful and that he would love to have the privilege to take me out and get to know me.

at least i can spot the young manwhore from a mile away. i wonder how many times he has copied and pasted that sentence. and more than that, i wonder how many times girls fell for it.

goonie guy gets an a for effort. but he was not at all even remotely my type.

in any case, i looked at all the boys i'd found on my previous, anonymous adventures. and most of them looked back at me.

there are a few that are just too cute. i figure i'll let tomorrow come and go. that i'll let a week or more go by. and that, then, maybe, i'll message the ones that i think are adorable and worthy.

upon telling chalk that i am trying dating, for something new and different, he went on for a few sentences about how strange it is to audition people. that he either has relationships, or friends with benefits. he asked if there were any prospects.

and i said not yet, but i'm excited to do something i've never done before, by abandoning my old ways of jumping from boyfriend to boyfriend. to see what is out there.

so that is my weekend update.

i'm a little toasty, in the sunning department.

i'm going to have a smoke and hopefully turn in over the next couple hours.

last night was a disaster.

kit came over to watch sliding doors with me, finally. that part was not a disaster.

but after she left at 1130, i couldn't sleep. i was wired awake. and at 3, i made myself stop watching interweb netflix and try to sleep.

i could easily have stayed up all night long. i'm glad i didn't. i'm glad i got something close to eight hours of sleep.

i'm pretty drained.

kinda like a beach day. all this personal grooming and fixing took a toll on me.

i told nina earlier.

tomorrow at work is going to be super fun.

i intend to flirt heavily. with everyone. and even though caterpillar will be spending his night with his honey, there's no harm in wishing him a happy valentine's day.

who knows? maybe tomorrow will be boobs and boyfriends part two...

anything can happen. that's what i'm learning these days.